Ok! I hope you got a good night’s sleep and are all fresh faced and ready to face the day, because it’s time for the official, no holds barred discussion of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed. Except there is a catch, because it’s totally holds barred (is that the proper opposite?) The hold is, you can discuss anything you want about the book, but I would like you all to be as respectful of Liz Gilbert as a person and a writer as you would be if she was reading this thread. Because this is the internet (and APW is super highly google-able) and she might be. So please treat her with as much or more respect as you’d treat me. Don’t like the book? Great, tell us why. Loved the book? Great, dish. But make sure you don’t equate Committed with Elizabeth Gilbert, yes? None of us are what we write, exactly. It’s not that simple.
So where were we? We’ve discussed why I picked the book (because if women like it, it must be stupid, right? F*ck that noise.) We saw pictures of the lovely book club meetups, and then we discussed why I did like the book (because wanting more doesn’t make you less of a woman, or a wife, or a mother). And now, may I suggest the APW book club Committed questions as talking points?
- Gilbert talks about how pragmatic marriages caused alliances and saved kingdoms and ran farms. Now marriage is mostly touted as a very individual, or as ‘for the kids.’ Do you think there is something that marriages, generally or individually, can offer to the larger community? Economically? Socially? Emotionally? For our neighborhood, our nation, our friend group, our families, or another group? Discuss.
- Has the evolution of men’s and women’s roles in our social network negatively or positively affected our marriages in the Western world? (see page 31)
- Gilbert asks on page 185 “how might we work together as a society to construct a world where healthy children can be raised with out women having to scrape bare the walls of their own souls to do it?” Discuss.
- Early in the book, Elizabeth Gilbert says that “every intimacy carries the ever-coiled makings of complete catastrophe.” Do you think that’s true of your relationship? Does it make you feel doomed, or hopeful?
- On page 35 Liz states “… the person whom you choose to marry is perhaps the single most vivid representation of your own personality. Your spouse becomes the most gleaming possible mirror through which your emotional individualism is reflected back to the world.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
- How has/have your own parents’ marriage(s) influenced your view of marriage? Have you learned anything surprising about their marriage as an adult?
- How did Gilbert’s list of demographics’ effect on marriage make you feel about the prospects of your own marriage?
And go. Debate club, APW style (with some holds barred).
Photo by Moodeous Photography in Denver (yay!)